France Fan is starting a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
Bachelor of Science
Why did you choose to attend Adelphi?
In high school, when I was making my college decision, Adelphi stood out to me because it was the only school where professors reached out and spoke to me in person – Deans Garner and Della Croce of the Honors College did so in particular. This convinced me that Adelphi is the kind of school where professors and deans take an interest in their students and their academic success. In addition, Adelphi has a small class size, and I wanted a school where I could develop relationships with professors instead of with textbooks. And for the sake of honesty, the financial aid offer from Adelphi was also very convincing.
Did you complete any noteworthy internships or study abroad programs?
I participated in the Horace McDonell Research Fellowship during the summer of 2013; I worked with Dr. Eugenia Villa-Cuesta studying mitochondrial disorders using the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) as a model system. I have also recently completed a volunteer internship at the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Community Center, where I volunteered 6 hours a week assisting with their programs for the LGBT community.
What is your favorite moment with a professor?
Once I messed up part of an experiment – a huge, obvious error in something I could normally do in my sleep – and when my professor found out, all she did was burst out laughing and tell me to start a “Wall of Shame” in the laboratory. She then told me all of the silly mistakes she had done during her own career. On a less humorous note, another professor once sat with me and listened for an hour while I was grieving after my father died. Her kindness meant a lot to me at the time and I still look up to her strength of character.
What accomplishment are you most proud of during your college career?
I recently had the opportunity to present my research at the Genetics Society of America’s Drosophila Research Conference, which is a major international conference for biologists. I was able to not only present my work but also to meet and talk to scientists at the top of their fields.
Plans after graduation:
I will be starting a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, studying the molecular mechanisms of aging in animal model systems and participating in the assessment of drugs and other interventions’ effects on the aging process.
What types of extracurricular activities are you involved with?
I work at the Office of Information Technology as a project assistant, which means I handle project management, writing and editing, and recordkeeping and technological maintenance of databases as well as reception and paperwork duties. Recently I also worked as a biochemistry tutor both independently and with Adelphi’s CSTEP program, as a volunteer organizer with Organizing for America i.e. Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, and as I mentioned above the Long Island GLBT Center.
How did your experiences at Adelphi prepare you to achieve your personal and professional goals?
In terms of my professional goals, I’ve learned how to design and implement my own science experiments, present the results of that research both verbally and in writing, and understand at a really fundamental level a lot of the science behind research and medicine. Personally, I feel that I’ve grown and matured as a person – I’ve taken on a lot more responsibilities since I’ve been here and learned how to be true to my ethics and principles even under pressure.
Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy camping and hiking. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to camp along the Californian coastline, in the Sierra Nevadas, and in the Mojave Desert. I also love music – I play classical flute – and spending time with my friends.
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